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How Long Do The Results of Liposuction Last?

Liposuction surgery is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world for a reason—this minimally invasive treatment has helped millions achieve their ideal image by removing fat tissue from stubborn areas that do not respond to traditional weight loss methods like a healthy diet and exercise.

Like any plastic surgery procedure, liposuction involves time, financial expense, and a recovery period. Before scheduling liposuction, prospective patients want to anticipate whether the results will be worth it. The best way to determine whether your liposuction results will be long-lasting and achieve your aesthetic goals is to schedule a consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

How Long Do the Results of Liposuction Last?

Liposuction is often called a “permanent” surgery because the procedure permanently removes fat cells from the treated area. For many patients, the body contouring results of liposuction last for the rest of their lives.

All prospective liposuction patients need to understand that liposuction is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss method. Liposuction does not remove all fat cells from the body—without a healthy lifestyle, the remaining ones will grow. The final results of liposuction ultimately depend on whether the patient is able to maintain their results over time.

How Does Liposuction Work?

Liposuction removes fat cells from targeted areas of the body by vacuuming them out through small incisions. There are several different types of liposuction that surgeons can use to achieve optimal results for patients. Through a personalized treatment plan designed with a plastic surgeon, patients can achieve their aesthetic goals for their bodies.

Everyone has a unique amount of fat cells in their body. These fat cells shrink or grow when you lose or gain weight, but weight change does not affect the total number of fat cells found throughout the body. As a result, certain areas of the body respond better to weight loss methods than others. Generally, there are more fat cells in the thighs, abdomen, and buttocks, which is why losing weight in these areas can be difficult.

Liposuction permanently removes fat cells in targeted areas, so it can help improve the physique of people struggling with stubborn tissue deposits. With fewer fat cells, the treated areas will likely exhibit smaller changes with weight gain or weight loss in the future. However, untreated areas of the body will continue to be affected by weight change, so significant weight loss or gain after liposuction can greatly alter liposuction results over time.

Factors that Affect the Success of Liposuction

Several factors influence whether a liposuction procedure will be maximally effective:

  • Current weight. The best candidates for liposuction are already close to their ideal weight prior to the procedure. Generally, patients should wait to have liposuction performed until they are within 10 pounds of their goal weight.

  • Level of fitness. Being physically active before having liposuction benefits patients on multiple levels. Fat removal in certain areas can reveal the underlying muscle tone, so having strong muscles prior to liposuction can improve patient satisfaction after the procedure. Also, patients who have a good fitness routine before liposuction are more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the procedure.

  • Diet prior to the procedure. Because liposuction removes fat, some patients may experience drooping skin in the treatment area after the procedure. A diet rich in healthy oils, omega-3 fatty acids, and colorful fruits and vegetables can increase skin laxity.

  • Timing of the procedure. Generally, liposuction is not advised if you are intending to get pregnant in the future since pregnancy can significantly alter your appearance. Additionally, patients who are far from their ideal weight should wait to have liposuction performed.

Ways to Improve the Lifespan of Your Liposuction

To ensure your liposuction helps you permanently achieve your ideal silhouette, keep the following guidelines in mind.

If you smoke, quit prior to the procedure. Smoking reduces blood flow to the organs and impairs the healing process. Not only does it increase your risk of complications during surgery, but smoking also increases the likelihood that your liposuction results will not be long-lasting.

After surgery, wear the appropriate compression garment as recommended by your surgeon. Compression garments are designed to reduce swelling. Swelling may be present for several months after the procedure, but compression garments can help you see the results of liposuction faster. They also reduce scarring at the incision site.

When recommended by your plastic surgeon, engage in a consistent exercise routine after surgery. Light exercise is generally recommended for the first few weeks post-surgery, but more vigorous exercise can be resumed two to four weeks after the procedure. Exercise will aid in the healing process and help ensure that your liposuction results meet your expectations.

Avoid significant weight gain or weight loss, since significant changes in body weight can affect your liposuction results. To keep your weight stable, adhere to a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, fish, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and exercise regularly. 

Most importantly, have realistic expectations about your procedure. Remember, liposuction is for body contouring purposes only and is not designed to provide significant weight loss benefits. As with any plastic surgery procedure, the results are intended to increase your satisfaction and confidence in your physique, not to create the “perfect” body. Liposuction can significantly alter your appearance, your experience will be greatly improved if you view it as one way to help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Maman

When it comes to your appearance, you should only schedule surgery with a physician you can trust. Dr. Maman provides attentive, patient-centered care that is aligned with patients’ personal goals to ensure that all patients feel comfortable and confident throughout the surgery and recovery process. Request a consultation online or by calling 212-920-6800.


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